Chargers waive DT Jerry Tillery

Tom Telesco’s 2019 first-round pick is no longer a Charger.

Tom Telesco’s 2019 first-round pick is no longer a Charger.

The team announced Thursday that it had waived defensive lineman Jerry Tillery. The move comes after Tillery did not practice this week due to a personal matter, per the injury report. The former Notre Dame standout was also nursing a back injury suffered during a bye-week lifting session.

It’s the end of a disappointing tenure for Tillery, who never found his footing as a full-time starter after being selected with the No. 28 pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

Many fans criticized him for his shortcomings as a run defender when asked to play all three downs. Still, this season especially, Tillery was one of the few defensive linemen able to generate pressure on quarterbacks from the interior.

The move leaves L.A. with Sebastian Joseph-Day, Morgan Fox, Otito Ogbonnia, Christian Covington, and Breiden Fehoko as its healthy defensive linemen. Austin Johnson was placed on injured reserve earlier this week with the knee injury he suffered against the Falcons.

Former Packers TE Jace Sternberger wrote this epic tweet about Terry McLaurin and Green Bay

Jace Sternberger was the No. 75 overall pick by the Packers in 2019 — one pick before Washington chose Terry McLaurin. Green Bay fans often remind Sternberger of this.

Can you imagine if the Green Bay Packers had drafted former Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin with the No. 75 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft?

Green Bay fans have often imagined what would have happened if quarterback Aaron Rodgers was throwing passes to Davante Adams and Terry McLaurin over the past few years. Sure, Adams is gone now, but if the Packers had selected McLaurin, he’d be their No. 1 wide receiver.

Instead, Green Bay chose former Texas A&M tight end Jace Sternberger at No. 75. In two years with the Packers, he appeared in 18 games, catching 12 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown. He was released in Sept. 2021.

The Seattle Seahawks signed Sternberger to their practice squad two days later. In a twist of irony, Washington then signed Sternberger to its active roster on Oct. 6 after multiple injuries at tight end. The team waived him one month later.

The Steelers later signed Sternberger, but he was waived over the summer and is now out of football.

Sternberger maintains an active presence on Twitter, and during Sunday’s game between the Packers and Commanders, he sent out a tweet for the ages.

He’s right. But Washington fans are certainly happy Green Bay messed that one up. Kudos to Sternberger for poking fun at himself on this one.

Giants earn C in 2019 NFL draft re-grade

In a Bleacher Report re-grade of the 2019 NFL draft, the New York Giants earn just a “C.”

In yet another ‘re-draft’ of the 2019 NFL draft, the New York Giants don’t fare well as time passes. Maurice Moten of Bleacher Report gives them a ‘C’ grade in his latest loopback on one of the most critical drafts in recent Giants history.

General manger Dave Gettleman made several grave errors, selecting Duke quarterback Daniel Jones No. 6 overall and then traded back into the first round to take Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker, who washed out amid legal troubles.

The Jones pick can still be salvaged if he plays well this season and finally put the franchise’s mind at ease after three inconsistent years.

As a rookie, Jones showed flashes, throwing for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, but his passing yards and touchdown totals have been on the decline thereafter. Though the athletic signal-caller has rushed for 1,000 yards and five touchdowns, he’s had some ball-security issues with 36 fumbles, losing 20 of them. The Giants declined to pick up the fifth-year option in rookie his deal.

The Giants waived Deandre Baker before the 2020 season as he faced robbery charges, but Florida prosecutors dropped those charges.

Third-round pick Oshane Ximines — the first player ever drafted out of Old Dominion – has also yet to establish himself.

Minnesota linebacker Ryan Connelly injured his knee right after becoming a starter and was later released. The sixth-round pick, Washburn cornerback Corey Ballentine, and the two seventh rounders (Syracuse defensive lineman Chris Slayton and Kentucky offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei), all had very short Giants careers.

Gettleman did hit on a few of his picks, though. Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence — taken No. 17 overall with one of the picks the Giants received in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade — has become a reliable and steady presence and the team recently exercised his fifth year option.

Fourth rounder Julian Love, a safety from Notre Dame, has become a starter, and Auburn wideout Darius Slayton, selected in the fifth-round, has had some success.

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Josh Allen one of only two Round 1 QBs from 2019 NFL draft still on first team

The 2019 draft has been awfully nice to the #Bills:

Hindsight has perhaps never looked so good for the Buffalo Bills.

At the 2019 NFL draft, Buffalo selected a raw quarterback prospect with their top-overall pick from a little school in Wyoming: Josh Allen.

Fast forward to today and that sentence has much different meaning than it once did. In that year’s first round, five quarterbacks were taken and only two of those remain with their original team.

Allen is one of them.

On Wednesday, a massive trade went down in the NFL. It’s always of that caliber when a No. 1 overall selection is traded and that’s exactly what happened with Baker Mayfield.

The Cleveland Browns traded him to the Carolina Panthers. The Browns received a fifth-round pick and will split finances of Mayfield’s contract with the Panthers to round out the deal.

Mayfield and Allen, who was taken No. 7 overall, were two of five total quarterbacks taken in the first round of that year’s draft. It was a highly-anticipated event with all the rumors and hype surrounding the QBs that could go in the first round.

Between Mayfield and Allen, Sam Darnold was selected third overall by the New York Jets. Darnold, like Mayfield, was traded to Carolina for draft picks and the two are now teammates.

The fourth off the board was Josh Rosen at 10. He’s currently a free agent.

And then there was Lamar Jackson. The Baltimore Ravens made him the final selection of 2019’s first round. He went at No. 32 overall.

There is one little thing that makes Allen standout above all else: Of all five QBs from his draft class, he’s the only one to sign a contract extension with his original team.

Jackson is working on one with the Ravens but has yet to finalize it.

Hindsight has sincerely been very nice to the Bills.

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Who do Panthers take in PFF’s 2019 redraft?

With Brian Burns off the board in Pro Football Focus’ 2019 redraft, the Panthers are forced to look elsewhere . . . completely elsewhere.

The Carolina Panthers pulled off a heist of Brian Burns with the 16th overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. And that’s why they’re not even sniffing him in Pro Football Focus’ recent redo.

With the class now settled in past its third season, PFF analyst Trevor Sikkema ran the first round back this week. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the aforementioned Burns—who was just selected to his first Pro Bowl for his standout 2021 efforts—was scooped up by the Green Bay Packers at No. 12.

That left Carolina looking elsewhere, specifically on the other side of the ball. So with this 16th overall pick, the Panthers select . . . Jonah Williams, offensive tackle, Alabama,

“The Panthers got a steal in Brian Burns at No. 16 back in 2019,” Sikkema writes. “But with Burns long gone in this draft, they should have looked toward a position group they are still trying to figure out in 2022: offensive line. Williams was picked earlier than this in 2019, but when healthy, he’s still a solid young offensive tackle — one the Panthers could certainly use today.”

Williams, who missed his rookie campaign due to a torn labrum, has gone on to play each of his 1,678 career snaps at left tackle—and to some solid success. PFF themselves graded the 6-foot-4, 302-pounder out at a 70.1 in 2020 and a 77.1 in 2021.

But, considering what just went down in the 2022 draft, we’re willing to bet the Panthers are pretty content with what they now have on the blindside and with what they really got three years ago.

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Giants select WR Terry McLaurin in 2019 NFL re-draft

In a 2019 NFL re-draft conducted by Pro Football Focus, the New York Giants pass on QB Daniel Jones and instead select WR Terry McLaurin.

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With the No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL draft, the New York Giants selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. However, if they were able to travel back in time and do things over, Pro Football Focus believes Big Blue would go in a different direction.

Trevor Sikkema of PFF recently conducted a re-draft and in it, the Giants nab wide receiver Terry McLaurin with their first pick in Round 1.

At the time, the Giants still had Eli Manning on the roster, but the then-38-year-old was in the last year of his contract and had led the team to a 5-11 record the season before. New York needed a quarterback, but re-drafting one here wouldn’t be fun.

Instead, I’ll anger the entire Washington fanbase by giving the Giants a player who should have gone top 10 in this class. McLaurin has averaged more than 1,000 yards a year through his first three NFL seasons. There’s plenty of reason to believe this upcoming campaign will be the best yet for McLaurin.

At No. 17 overall, Sikkema has the Giants remaining consistent and staying with defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence.

The Giants still would have this pick, as it wasn’t a draft-day trade; this was the selection they received in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. They took Lawrence here back in 2019, and that’s still the right choice in this re-draft. The bigger-bodied Lawrence recorded a 73.3 pass-rushing grade in 2021, which was the fifth-best of any defensive lineman in the class.

As fans might recall, the Giants later traded back into Round 1 in order to draft cornerback Deandre Baker. That, of course, did not work out and Sikkema does not have them repeating history. Instead, the Green Bay Packers stay at No. 30 and select safety Darnell Savage.

Jones, meanwhile, falls out of the first round.

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Jags take WR Deebo Samuel in 2019 re-draft

Josh Allen has been a good player for the Jags, but PFF had them taking Deebo Samuel in a re-draft they did for 2019.

The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t had a lot of success with first-round picks lately, but one that they seem to have hit on was Josh Allen in 2019. Former general manager Dave Caldwell pretty much received a gift while waiting at pick No. 7, as Allen took a slight fall into the organization’s lap. That said, when the Jags were on the clock, there wasn’t much to think about.

However, when looking back at the 2019 draft, some felt the Jags still could’ve made a better selection. Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema is among them, and in his recent re-draft, he had the Jags addressing the offense instead by slotting them San Francisco 49ers receiver, Deebo Samuel.

Here is what Sikkema had to say about the selection:


Actual pick: EDGE Josh Allen

Though I wouldn’t say the Jaguars are unhappy with their selection of Allen by any means, Deebo Samuel has proven to be one of the top offensive weapons in all of football. There aren’t many NFL teams, if any, over the past three years who could have used a playmaker like that more than the Jaguars.

There is no doubt that Samuel would be the best offensive playmaker the Jags have had in a while if they made this pick. However, it’s worth mentioning the Jags took DJ Chark Jr. the year before in the second round and were probably high on him fulfilling his potential.

That’s not to say that Sikkema slotting Samuel to the Jags is a bad choice, though. The funny thing about the Jags not taking a receiver in 2019 is that they eventually circled back around to it in 2020. They took Laviska Shenault in the second round that offseason, who they’ve tried to use as a utility player like Samuel.

When looking at Samuel’s career he put it all together in 2021, registering 1,770 total yards and 14 touchdowns. Most of those yards came as a receiver where Samuel was able to accumulate 1,405 yards and six touchdowns.

As for Shenault, he’ll be entering his third season when the regular season arrives, and many fans are hoping he turns on the switch after a mediocre year in 2021. If he is to match Samuel’s Year 3 success, he will have a lot of work to do as he may fall down the depth chart a tad with Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Marvin Jones Jr. set to potentially start at the split end, flanker, and slot roles. That’s a sign that Samuel would’ve been a better pick, but Shenault has time to figure it out, too.

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Texans pick CB Jamel Dean in 2019 NFL draft redo

The Houston Texans shore up their secondary with CB Jamel Dean in Pro Football Focus’ redo of the 2019 NFL draft.

Hindsight always provides clarity, and for the Houston Texans, the 2019 NFL draft is becoming clearer as to where the team started going off the rails.

Consider that entering the 2022 season there are just two picks remaining on the roster in first-round tackle Tytus Howard and second-round guard Max Scharping. Howard had his fifth-year option picked up, but Scharping may not see a second contract with Houston after 2022.

According to Trevor Sikkema from Pro Football Focus, who conducted a redo of the 2019 NFL draft, the Texans take former Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean, who originally went in the third round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On draft night, the selection of Howard at No. 23 was one of the more shocking picks of the first round.

Editor’s note — the only thing “shocking” about the Howard pick was it was framed as a reach because the Philadelphia Eagles took tackle Andre Dillard the pick prior. Of course, the debate was settled by the end of their rookie years as to who the better tackle was. That might be the shocking part of the Howard pick.

If the Texans had to do it over again, they’d likely look to their secondary, especially given how bad it is currently. With a handful of cornerbacks to choose from, Dean stands out as the one with the highest ceiling. He’s recorded a 76.0-plus coverage grade in each of his first three NFL seasons.

General manager Brian Gaine probably should have invested more in the secondary, and they tried in the second round with defensive back Lonnie Johnson, who was yo-yoed between cornerback and safety throughout his career that it spoiled his Texans tenure. But the Texans’ offensive line was either directly responsible or an enabler in the starting quarterback taking a league-high 62 sacks the year before. Gaine’s priority was to find a protector for the presumptive franchise quarterback.

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GM Nick Caserio details how Texans handle players on expiring rookie contracts

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio talked about how the organization approaches players who nearing the end of their rookie contracts.

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio is still working through the draft classes from the Brian Gaine era (2018-19). Caserio let the only player from Gaine’s first draft walk in free agency in safety Justin Reid.

The Texans’ 2019 draft class is now under the microscope throughout the 2022 season. The club picked up the fifth-year option for right tackle Tytus Howard, which buys them some time. However, guard Max Scharping, the last remaining player on the roster from the 2019 draft, is entering the final year of his deal.

Caserio joined “Payne & Pendergast” on Sports Radio 610 [KILT-AM] June 16 to talk about how the club handles players who are starting to round the corner into their contracts being expired.

“I think really after a couple years you might start to think, all right, what makes the most sense, how we’re going to handle it,” Caserio said. “But I would say the CBA has been agreed and the way the contracts are structured, there are certain parameters and limitations in place in terms of when you can actually have a negotiation with that player about a contract. Everything will kind of come in due time, but ideally with younger players, you’d like to have after a couple of years you hope, whatever you think you have in that player, hopefully you have a pretty good sense and an idea.”

Caserio noted that the organization looks at the cost associated with the position, and that the team works within the framework of two-year windows.

Said Caserio: “I would say from our perspective, from the Texans’ perspective, we try to look at things sort of two-year windows and two-year increments. So, we’re in the 2022 season. So, 2022, 2023, look at our team, look at our salary cap, look at where are we positioned because if you get too too far ahead, there’s too many moving parts. You start to talk yourself in circles if you’re not careful. So, just look at it in a two-year window, worry about this year.”

The tale of the 2022 season will help the Texans determine who needs to be a a part of the team’s future beyond the current two-year window.

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Panthers DE Brian Burns ranked 10th-best player of 2019 draft

Brian Burns should’ve been drafted higher than he was in 2019. But the Panthers probably won’t be complaining about that.

Florida State standout Brian Burns being available at the 2019 NFL draft’s 16th overall pick may have come as a surprise to many.

Other than bulk, which comes with natural maturation anyway, he had everything—the length, the athleticism, the polish. Plus, he was a relatively young prospect at the second-most important position in the sport.

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s now one of the premier players from that class.

With three years of service from the group now in the bag, analyst Bucky Brooks went back to rank the top 15 players from the 2019 event. And the Carolina Panthers, clearly, got themselves one heck of a bargain.

“The speed-rushing phenom has mastered the art of beating offensive tackles with first-step quickness and acceleration, tallying 25.5 sacks and six forced fumbles in 48 games,” writes Brooks, who ranks Burns at No. 10. “From his exceptional snap-count anticipation to his subtle dip-and-rip maneuver, Burns is a fastball pitcher with a heater that few batters can handle. If given more opportunities to rush the passer with his team nursing a lead, he will start stacking up double-digit sack seasons as a disruptive force off of the edge.”

Hopefully for Burns and the Panthers, the fourth-year edge rusher hits those double digits in 2022. Not only would that obviously benefit Carolina, but it’ll also benefit Burns’ path to a lucrative long-term extension.

Carolina, of course, picked up the former first-rounder’s fifth-year option at the end of April. The move was a no-brainer, especially with Burns coming off his very first Pro Bowl selection for a solid 2021 showing.

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